The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined a Cincinnati, Ohio, landlord for failing to disclose that many of its properties may contain lead-based paint.
According to the agencies, Meyer Management violated the Federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act by failing to inform tenants that their homes may contain “potentially dangerous” levels of lead.
Cincinnati health department officials investigated the homes and identified at least five children with elevated blood lead levels in the properties. Subsequently, lead inspections were conducted at other Meyer Management properties. According to the agencies, Meyer Management had “specific knowledge of lead in as many as 21 of the units in its properties.”
In total, the settlement agreement requires Meyer Management to replace windows and clean up lead-based paint hazards in 136 residential properties containing a total of 224 units, at a cost of $350,000 for the lead abatement.
The company was also fined $7,500 for failing to disclose the presence of lead paint.
"Children should be protected from lead's destructive and permanent effects," said Matt Ammon, director of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.
"We hope this settlement serves as a reminder to housing providers to do the right thing and let families who rent know about lead in their homes so they can protect their children from its hazards."
Additionally, Meyer Management was ordered to disclose any information about lead-based paint to potential tenants before they sign their lease.
"This case illustrates the continued commitment by health officials and federal agencies to protect families' rights to a safe living environment," said U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart. "I commend the cooperative investigation."